With the vision of enlightened, healthy and democratic societies free from hunger, poverty, environmental degradation & forms of exploitation BRAC started its journey in 1972 after the liberation war. The “BRAC model” comprises of a collaborative network of Enterprises, Development Programmess and Investments – all of which together serve the following comprehensive vision and objective of BRAC: * to empower the poor,
* to alleviate social/environmental imbalance and
* to enhance financial sustainability
In 1978, BRAC’s flagship social enterprise, Aarong, was created as a support mechanism to BRAC’s existing sericulture programme so that the hand-spun silk they were creating could be successfully marketed at a larger scale. Aarong was established as a retail distribution outlet that offered a fair price to the rural suppliers while introducing the products to urban markets where both demand and consumers’ willingness to pay were the highest. Today, Aarong has transformed into a high surplus generating enterprise, operating as one of the largest retailers in Bangladesh. Other BRAC enterprises also came into existence at various times in similar efforts to create economic space for the poor. Although Aarong was formed as programme support enterprises, currently it operates as surplus generating ventures while maintaining its ongoing commitment toward alleviation of poverty via empowerment of the poor. The women Aarong employs are among the countries most disadvantaged. Through Aarong they have been offered a way out of destitution and degradation where before they had none. And the benefits that they received extend well beyond simply the wages they earn of their products, since every single woman who works in Aarong- owned product facilities is also a beneficiary of BRAC’s multifaceted development programs. As a support entity of BRAC, a significant portion of...